Wetherspoons to slash prices on all food and drink - but only for one day

Wetherspoon pubs across the UK are cutting the price of everything on the menu by 7.5 per cent, as part of the chain’s ‘Tax Equality Day’ campaign.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 2:57 pm
Updated Friday, 13th September 2019, 3:13 pm

But this discount will be in place for one day only – on Thursday 19 September.

‘Tax Equality Day’ campaign

This annual price drop is part of the chain’s ‘Tax Equality Day’ campaign, and Wetherspoon hopes it will highlight a tax burden on the hospitality industry.

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Picture: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Food and drink sold in pubs is subject to 20 per cent VAT. However, supermarkets don’t have to pay this. This means that supermarkets can sell alcohol at a discounted price, while pubs cannot.

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What will be included in the discount?

This 7.5 per cent discount will automatically be applied to all food and drink, including meal deals.

It means that a £10 bill will be reduced to £9.25, or a pint of beer that usually costs £2.50 will cost £2.32 instead.

Which pubs are taking part?

Out of 879 Wetherspoon pubs, over 850 Wetherspoon pubs will be taking part across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There are six registered Wetherspoon pubs in Portsmouth, including The Sir Alec Rose in Port Solent and The John Jacques in Fratton Road.

The chain also has pubs in Gosport, Fareham, Havant and Waterlooville.

The chain’s 15 airport pubs will not be taking part in this one day discount.

Pubs at a disadvantage

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin explained how this 20 per cent tax put pubs at a disadvantage when trying to sell both food and drink at a competitive rate.

He said: ‘Pubs suffer a huge disadvantage, paying about 16 pence in business rates per pint versus about two pence for supermarkets. In addition, there is a huge VAT inequality and unfairness.

‘A reduction in the level of VAT, on a long-term basis, will create a level playing field and generate growth and jobs in the important leisure and hospitality sector and help the high street, of which pubs are an integral part.’

The chain hopes that Thursday (19 September) will be the busiest day for its pubs, and hopes to illustrate what prices could be like if the rate was reduced.

Pub beer sales fallen by 3.3 billion

It was recently revealed that the number of pub beer sales has fallen by 3.3 billion since the year 2000, with industry bosses blaming the high rate of tax added to beer.

Union UK Hospitality, which represents the interests of the UK’s hospitality sector, back this campaign.

Kate Nicholls, from the union, said: ‘Pubs are paying around one third of their turnover in tax, which seriously restricts their ability to invest in their venues and staff, and increases prices for customers.

‘A cut in the rate of VAT for the hospitality sector could help to address this unfairness and allow pubs and bars to invest in their businesses and staff members, and provide even greater choice for customers.’